THE LIBRARY OF THE
AT CHAPEL HILL
THE COLLECTION OF
North Caroliniana Society
FOR USE ONLY IN
THE NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Emma Neal Morrison
Ida Howell Friday
Together with Proceedings of a Banquet on the Occasion of the
Presentation of the North Caroliniana Society Award for 1989
NORTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY IMPRINTS
This edition is limited to
five hundred signed copies
oj which this is number
NORTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY IMPRINTS
H. G. Jones, General Editor
No. 1. An Evening at Monticello: An Essay in Reflection (1978)
by Edwin M. Gill
No. 2. The Paul Green I Know (1978)
by Elizabeth Lay Green
No. 3. The Albert Coates I Know (1979)
by Gladys Hall Coates
No. 4. The Sam Ervin I Know (1980)
by Jean Conyers Ervin
No. 5. Sam Ragan (1981)
by Neil Morgan
No. 6. Thomas Wolfe of North Carolina (1982)
edited by H. G. Jones
No. 7. Gertrude Sprague Carraway (1982)
by Sam Ragan
No. 8. John Fries Blair (1983)
by Margaret Blair McCuiston
No. 9. William Clyde Friday and Ida Howell Friday (1984)
by Georgia Carroll Kyser and William Brantley Aycock
No. 10. William S. Powell, North Carolina Historian (1985)
by David Stick and William C. Friday
No. 11. "Gallantry Unsurpassed" (1985)
edited by Archie K. Davis
No. 12. Mary and Jim Semans, North Carolinians (1986)
by W Kenneth Goodson
No. 13. The High Water Mark (1986)
edited by Archie K. Davis
No. 14. Raleigh and Quinn (1987)
edited by H. G. Jones
No. 15. A Half Century in Coastal History (1987)
by David Stick
No. 16. Thomas Wolfe at Eighty-seven (1988)
edited by H. G. Jones
No. 17. A Third of a Century in Senate Cloakrooms (1988)
by William McWhorter Cochrane
No. 18. The Emma Neal Morrison I Know (1989)
by Ida Howell Friday
The Emma Neal Morrison
Ida Howell Friday
Together with Proceedings of a Banquet on the Occasion oj the Presentation
of the North Caroliniana Society Award jor 1989
North Caroliniana Society, Inc.
and North Carolina Collection
Copyright © 1989 by
North Caroliniana Society, Inc.
P. O. Box 127
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514-0127
All rights reserved
Manufactured in the United States of America
AN EVENING WITH EMMA NEAL MORRISON
On the evening of Friday, 9 June 1989, in the Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill,
friends and family joined in a reception and banquet honoring Emma Neal
McQueen Morrison on the occasion of her acceptance of the North Caroliniana
Society Award jor 1989. The award recognized Mrs. Morrison for her public
service and contributions to the cultural life of her jellow North Carolinians.
The master of ceremonies was H. G. Jones, curator of the North Carolina
Collection and secretary-treasurer of the Society, and the award was presented
by Archie K. Davis, president of the Society. Speakers included Douglass Hunt,
IVilliam S. Powell, and William C Friday, with the featured address by Ida
Howell Friday. Their remarks, along with the response of the recipient, are
published in this eighteenth number of the North Caroliniana Society
Speakers at the banquet on 9 June 1989 honoring Emma Neal Morrison included Douglass
Hunt (top left), William S. Powell (top right), and William C. and Ida Howell Friday
(bottom, with Mrs. Morrison). All photos by Jerry W Gotten, North Carolina Collection.
B§ l! ,':■'','-'
V ' ^JE?
. 1 ',,- ng Era - ■■ ■■,'■:■..
mm® ' 1
W m ML, **
Archie K. Davis, president of the Society, makes presentation (top). At bottom, Mrs.
Morrison laughs with her daughter, Myra Neal Morrison, andjormer Governor Robert
W. Scott, now president of the Department of Community Colleges.
Former Senator Lindsay C. Warren, Jr. (left) and retired Professor William M. Geer
join Mrs. Morrison in upper photo, and at bottom she is greeted byjaquelin and Pembroke
Nash of Tarboro.
Charles and Charlotte Shaffer chat with the recipient in the top photo, and at bottom
Mrs. Morrison is congratulated by Lawrence F. London, retired curator of the University's
Rare Book Collection.
Edward G. Holley of the School of Library Science converses in top photo with Elizabeth
and Penelope Wilson, daughters of the late Louis Round Wilson, and University Librarian
James F. Govan. At bottom, Nancy Sitterson visits with J. Isaac Copeland, retired curator
of the Southern Historical Collection.
Opening Remarks and Introductions
H. G. Jones
For half a century Emma Neal McQueen Morrison has traveled the road
between the District of Columbia and her native state so many times that we
could make a case for naming the Virginia portion of U.S. 1 and 1-95 as Morrison
Boulevard. It is appropriate, therefore, that so many of her friends have traveled
so far to spend this evening with her.
This is your night, Emma Neal, and unlike our treatment of some of your
predecessor recipients of the North Caroliniana Society Award, we plan to treat
you with the respect and dignity that you have earned. This is no roast; it is
a toast. And just as you have been the toast of the Outer Banks every summer,
so tonight you are the toast of Chapel Hill, which, along with Scotland County,
Dare County, and Washington, D.C., has been one of your homes ever since
Fred Morrison taught you the words to "Hark the Sound."
Now, before our dinner is served, may I take care of the obligatory presenta-
tions. You will hear later from most of those at the head table, but here they
are by name only. Will each stand, remain standing, and will the audience with-
hold applause until all have been presented.
Starting on my far left, William S. Powell, Mary Jane Hunt, Archie K.
Davis, and Ida Friday; and from my far right, Virginia Powell, Douglass Hunt,
Mary Louise Davis, William C. Friday; and, finally, please join in welcoming
our guest of honor, Emma Neal McQueen Morrison.
Many of Emma Neal's relatives are here, so let's at least recognize her immedi-
ate family: her daughter, Myra Neal Morrison, and Myra's daughters Patricia,
Sandra, and Shirley Ann Stroud; and Emma Neal's brother, Laurin McQueen, Jr.
And, finally, let us welcome back our previous recipients of the North
Caroliniana Society Award: Sam Ragan, William and Ida Friday, William S.
Powell, David Stick, and William M. Cochrane. To them may we add our beloved
Gladys, the widow of Albert Coates, with whom we had so much fun exactly
ten years ago.
Now, please visit with your neighbors and enjoy dinner. We shall return.
It is remarkable that so many friends of Emma Neal Morrison could get
together tonight, which must be the most crowded date on the summer calendar.
For one conflict we are especially regretful: This is the opening night of the
1989 season of The Lost Colony, and while her heart is in the Waterside Theatre
on Roanoke Island, the hearts of her many friends there are here with us tonight.
There may be some in this audience who tonight, for the first time since the
debut of the drama in 1937, are missing an opening performance. Appropriately,
then, come these words from Scott J. Parker, executive director of the Roanoke
Island Historical Association: "Tonight we send you the love and devotion of
the hundreds of men and women from across the country who have appeared
in The Lost Colony during your many years of involvement with the production.
Though they are scattered now from one corner of the nation to the other,
they are with you tonight in spirit because of the extraordinary love and support
you have so unselfishly given to them, this special drama, and this hallowed
ground for so many, many years."
Emma Neal, many others have written or called expressing their distress
over missing this event in your honor. Chancellor Paul Hardin is out of town,
and former chancellor Christopher Fordham is in Canada, but they send their
congratulations and best wishes. Comments of others include these: Bess Ballen-
tine — ". . .give my love to Emma Neal." John P. Kennedy, Jr., who followed
you and Ida Friday as chairman of the Roanoke Island Historical Association —
"Don't know of anybody who deserves the award more." Historian Elizabeth
Vann Moore of Edenton — ". . .how delighted I am at the recognition of Mrs.
Morrison's services to this state." Charles B. Wade, Jr., who carried out our
plans to build the Elizabeth II—". . .please tell Emma Neal how much Margaret
and I regret not being there. . ." And a member of our board of directors, Edward
L. Rankin, Jr., who ran more governors' offices than you did — "She is a most
remarkable woman whose many contributions to North Carolina and its people
richly deserve the 1989 North Caroliniana Society Award. Emma Neal quietly
and effectively achieved results when most women were not expected to become
directly involved in complex public affairs. Her husband, Fred, and I both came
from the small Rowan County town of Spencer, and he never let either of us
forget that fact."
Each of us knows Emma Neal Morrison in a different way. Some remember
her as a staff member of pioneering study commissions that significantly affected
our state; some as a political and social leader; and some as a half of the Morrison
team that almost never missed a Carolina football game. I know her as a doer.
It was in her Washington home that she gathered Tar Heel emigres and organized
them in support of the restoration of our oldest town, Bath, of whose historical
commission she served as vice-chairman. Then, when in 1978 Governor Jim
Hunt appointed me chairman of America's Four Hundredth Anniversary Commit-
tee and gave me the unprecedented privilege of selecting the remainder of the
committee, Emma Neal Morrison was, I believe, the first person to accept. I
am sure that my successor, Senator Lindsay C. Warren, Jr., who is in the audience,
will agree that she served as a steady rudder throughout the quadricentennial
commemoration. From the beginning we knew that the commemoration deserved
a United States postage stamp, and shortly after I named her a committee of
one to accomplish the assignment, on 7 May 1980 she furnished a one-page
typed direction of exactly how it could be done. She had already laid the ground-
work in Washington circles by enlisting the support of the former chairman
of the House of Representatives' Committee on the Post Office, and all we
needed were a brief historical sketch of the Roanoke colonies, a formal request,
and two letters — one from the governor, the other from Emma Neal's longtime
Lost Colony associate, Andy Griffith. We complied, avoided the usual letter- writing
campaign, and rested easy and confidently. On 13 July 1984, with Princess Anne
in attendance, we mailed from Manteo the first-day cancelations of the beautiful
Roanoke voyages stamps. In case you have misplaced yours, Emma Neal, here
is one of those first-day covers mailed by the Society. The back of the stamp literally
was moistened by the sweat of my brow, for the stamps were affixed to the
envelopes in the parking lot on that sweltering July day. And, because you prob-
ably used up all of your uncanceled stamps, we want to make sure that you
are never again without them. Here is a framed sheet.
Much of your life, Emma Neal, has been associated with governmental
and political leaders of our state and nation. In selecting those to speak tonight,
however, we relegated former governors, congressmen, and judges to the audience
and picked only a few friends who have played a very personal role in your life.
Forty-three years ago, the Daily Tar Heel wrote of the speaker of the Student
Legislature, "Inevitably influential, he's a man to watch. And it will be hard
not to." Time has borne out that prophecy about a young man born in Winston-
Salem and brought up in Greensboro and Rocky Mount, who after being gradu-
ated from UNC received a law degree from Yale University, served as vice-
president for finance at Columbia University and as special assistant to the
undersecretary of the United States Treasury, and then returned to Chapel Hill
in 1973 first as vice-chancellor for administration and now as special assistant
to the chancellor. While in law school, Douglass Hunt had an interesting experi-
ence in our nation's capital. This was during the very decade when Emma Neal
Morrison was the toast of the National Democratic Party, and we want Douglass
Hunt to open this Washington window upon Emma Neal Morrison.
[Mr. Hunt's remarks are printed later.]
Speaking of conflicting engagements, it is a wonder that William S. Powell
is not talking tonight to the Hyde County Historical Society or attending a
symposium at Town Creek Indian Mound. Fortunately, he feels so indebted
to our recipient that the first suggestion of his participation brought an immediate
affirmative response. He will tell you about paths that he has traveled with Emma
Neal Morrison. We should not be surprised by their long relationship, for both
have been in the forefront in taking history out of the classroom and carrying
it to the home communities of the people of the state. No ivory tower historian,
Bill Powell's literary productivity is almost beyond count, and his influence upon
North Carolina's reading public has helped spark a resurgence in interest in North
Carolina history, a subject officially relegated to the educational scrapheap by
the Department of Public Instruction sixteen years ago and only recently rescued.
From his pen in the last two years have appeared two textbooks for the public
schools, and a third, for college use, will be published by UNC Press this summer.
[Mr. Powell's remarks are printed later.]
A very special relationship developed over the years between Emma Neal
Morrison and Ida Howell Friday. It is not too much to say that the relationship
spanned four centuries, for their mutual interests extend from the English settle-
ments on Roanoke Island to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
this year celebrating the bicentennial of its charter. Ida Friday is a native of South
Carolina, but she grew up at Lumberton, where she starred as first baseman
on an otherwise all-male baseball team. A graduate of Meredith College, she
was a home economist, nutritionist, and cafeteria manager before attending and
teaching in the School of Public Health on this campus. When her husband became
president of the Consolidated University of North Carolina, she continued her
own independent public service that has extended to a wide variety of causes.
She succeeded Emma Neal Morrison as chairman of the Roanoke Island Historical
Association, helped organize and served as the first president of the Chapel Hill
Preservation Society, and chaired the Chapel Hill Bicentennial Commission and
the board of the Stagville Preservation Center. On the other hand, she has been
a leader in the Children's Home Society and an activist in sensitizing the social
conscience of the state. She is with us tonight as a friend of Emma Neal Morrison.
[Mrs. Friday's remarks are printed later.]
The longtime president of the University of North Carolina and now presi-
dent of the William R. Kenan, Jr., Fund, William C. Friday needs no introduction
to a North Carolina audience.
[Mr. Friday read to Mrs. Morrison portions of a letter from Matthew Hodgson:
All of us at the University of North Carolina Press are grateful to Mrs.
Morrison and her late husband Dr. Fred Morrison for their generous
gift that endowed our Fred W. Morrison Series of books about the South.
Since the series was launched, the Press published over 25 books bearing
the Morrison imprint, of which no fewer than 9 have won significant
prizes of learned societies. . . . The latest book to appear in the Morrison
Series will be the new Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. . . . Here is the
first copy for Mrs. Morrison.
Mr. Friday then presented the hook to the honoree.]
Archie K. Davis won't let me give him a proper introduction, but perhaps
that is just as well, for virtually everybody knows him. He cannot deny, however,
being the only person ever to be elected president of both the American Bankers
Association and the United States Chamber of Commerce; the only student
who enrolled in the University of North Carolina in 1928 and still, 61 years
later, continues to register each semester; the only author of a book (Boy Colonel
of the Confederacy) that the past year inspired spectacular paintings by two nationally
known artists, and who is hard at work on another book; and the only student
of mine who honors us by serving as president of the North Caroliniana Society.
[Mr. Davis's presentation jollows Mrs. Friday's remarks.]
The Washington Scene
Despite my wife's conviction that I knew Abraham Lincoln, I did not know
Emma Neal McQueen when she was a student at Flora MacDonald College,
or when she was a secretary at the North Carolina State Tax Commission, or
at the Commission on the Consolidation of the University of North Carolina,
or when Governor Max Gardner brought Fred Morrison to Washington as an
associate in his new law firm in 1933 and brought Emma Neal as the firm's
secretary. Indeed, I didn't know Fred and Emma Neal Morrison until I went
to work as a law clerk at Gardner, Morrison & Rogers in the summer of 1950
after my second year in law school. But, if you know anything about the Morri-
sons, you know that, once they call you friend, they make you a friend for
life. Out of that association, then, I presumed to accept H. G. Jones's invitation
to speak tonight and to offer a poor five minutes of remarks in gratitude for
these thirty-nine years.
In the 1940s Carolina students knew that President Frank Graham did not
drive an automobile. The belief was common that his keen interest in anyone
with whom he was conversing led him frequently to face the backseat occupants
while steering his car approximately down the highway. In consequence, when
Hubert Robinson was not available, and on all nonofficial automobile trips,
Miss Marian drove.
No one loved a good story about himself better than that good man Fred
Morrison. When he and I were working on an oral history at President Friday's
behest, he told me that one bright, sunny noon many years ago he was driving
toward Raleigh. While thinking hard about some pressing business, he somehow
managed to turn his car over in the field adjoining the road. The only other
vehicle in sight was an ancient jalopy piloted by a farmer, who drew alongside
on the road as Dr. Morrison climbed from his car in the field. The farmer poked
his head out and asked, "Are you all right?" Dr. Morrison replied, "I think
I am." "Then you must be crazy," snapped the farmer and drove on. On another
occasion, Dr. Morrison, a man who charted his own way, may have followed
the example of the Washington gran&e dame who caused the streetcar line in
both directions to be laid around the other side of Dupont Circle from her
mansion. He established the Fred Morrison route by driving around the circle
straight into the face of oncoming traffic.
That will tell you why Emma Neal Morrison followed the example of
Marian Graham and why one of my clearest memories of Mrs. Morrison during
my years at Gardner, Morrison & Rogers was of the arrival of a black Chrysler
on H Street beside the Woodward Building. Emma Neal was chauffeuring Fred.
Mornings she brought him to work. Evenings she took him home — six days
a week, at least. Moreover, she put several hundred thousand miles on a succession
of automobiles driving to Spencer, to the Morrison Farm near Rockwell, to
Chapel Hill, to Laurinburg, to Kill Devil Hills, and anywhere else they needed
to travel. In addition to coming home to North Carolina to vote in every election,
the Morrisons returned for every home football game in Chapel Hill — except
once when Fred broke his wrist and once when he was persuaded to attend
a family party elsewhere on his ninetieth birthday.
You may wonder that his wife had time for anything else.
In fact, she found time to keep an immaculate, beautiful home, see a child
through school and college, minister to the needs of a busy husband who was
the senior partner in a highly successful law firm, and be a gracious and talented
hostess to a multitude of personal and business friends.
You may wonder that she was anything more than a full-time wife and
In fact, in those Washington years she worked her way through the respon-
sible positions in a number of organizations and served as president of the North
Carolina Society of Washington, president of the Women's National Democratic
Club, chairman of the Invitation Committee for President John F. Kennedy's
Inaugural Ball in 1961, and a director of Davis Memorial Goodwill Industries,
the Girl Scouts of America, and the Young Women's Christian Association.
I can remember organizational meetings for the Truman Presidential Library
in the library of our law office. Her work in its planning led to her becoming
a national trustee of the Truman Library.
You will perceive the quality of her service when you know that, as president
of the North Carolina Society, she arranged a dinner at which Andy Griffith,
introduced by David Brinkley, was the principal speaker, with a reception preced-
ing it at which the honored guest was President Harry Truman.
When she was president of the Women's National Democratic Club, she
saw to it that all the people at our law firm were invited to a reception there.
A man at the beginning of the receiving line was passing names to Mrs. Morrison,
who, as president of the Club, was making introductions to the honored guest.
Emma Neal's niece remembers giving her name to the man, who upon hearing
"Ann Morrison," decided he needn't repeat it to Emma Neal. When Ann stepped
in front of her aunt, she was met with an alarmed look of blank unrecognition,
so she whispered "Ann." Mrs. Morrison recovered at once from what is probably
the only social near-gaffe anyone can recall of her and presented Ann to President
It should be said that the president of the Women's National Democratic
Club must administer the affairs of a busy, politically savvy, and contentious
group of very bright, highly judgmental women and preside over one of the
liveliest political forums in the nation's capital. All of this Mrs. Morrison did
with typically distinctive grace and skill.
You may wonder that, with all of these Washington activities, she had
any time for North Carolina at all.
In fact, she did all of these thngs while making a steady contribution through
the years to her North Carolina home, to its people, and to its culture.
She is quiet and modest about it all. But the truth is discovered by those
who know her: she is exceptionally smart, energetic, hardworking, gracious,
tactful, and determined to serve well any cause that has won her allegiance.
In addition to his generosity to his family, his friends, and to his alma
mater, and beyond his love of a story at his own expense, the quality that most
characterized Fred Wilson Morrison was longheaded, clear-sighted, astute judg-
ment. He never showed it more than when he married Emma Neal McQueen.
William S. Powell
Mrs. Fred Morrison became chairman of the Roanoke Island Historical
Association in 1962. She had already been a director of the Association for half
a dozen years. But now, as one with a deep devotion to the coastal region of
North Carolina as well as an understanding of its history, she was anxious to
see the work of the Association take on a new life. Never one to rest on her
laurels and always looking to the next opportunity for service to her native
state, she appointed committees and began to make assignments.
Among her early actions was a conversation with me about whether the
resources existed for the preparation of a history of the Roanoke Island Historical
Association and if so to whom should it be directed? In our discussions we
concluded that it certainly would be possible to prepare such a history, but that
it should also deal with the earlier organizations with similar objectives, some
of which dated back to the 1880s.
We concluded that when North Carolinians and others became aware of
the very early interest in the site of the Roanoke colonies between 1584 and
1587 and the efforts that had been made to mark, explain, and preserve it over
a great many years, they would be more supportive of the efforts of the Associa-
tion. A key part of its program was the production of the outdoor drama, The
Lost Colony, which began in 1937 as the nation's first such production. The
Association's work was for the benefit of all with an interest in history and
to preserve evidence of our past. The book, then, should be aimed at the same
audience and it should tell them what had happened at the site and who had
been involved in its development.
A few weeks passed, as I recall, and Mrs. Morrison asked me to join her
and Dr. Fred for breakfast at the Carolina Inn one Saturday morning when
they were down from Washington for a Carolina football game. We had corre-
sponded and I already knew that she wanted me to consider writing the history.
At breakfast, however, I soon came to get the feeling that Dr. Morrison was
not certain that I was the proper person to do it. All of you who knew him
will not be surprised that Dr. Fred, a lawyer, had a lot of questions to ask. Although
I had known Mrs. Morrison for several years, I had never had an opportunity
to get to know him. Now it was almost as if we were in court, and he asked
me penetrating questions about a lot of things, most of which had little or
nothing to do with the matter at hand. I was getting a little irritated by his
brisk manner— which later I learned was just his nature and not to be taken
notice of. I think he just liked to try to get the upper hand in this manner.
All the time Mrs. Morrison was trying in her usual gentle way to keep
him on track. Finally, however, he got to me. He asked if I had told my superiors
at the University that I was going to write this history— whether they would
approve. I told him that if I wrote the book I would do so on my own time
and that it was my business, not theirs. Further, I told him, I didn't care whether
I wrote the book or not. I believe this was exactly what he was looking for,
and he laughed and said "Write it." From that exchange on we became the
best of friends, and I think a new bond of friendship between Mrs. Morrison
and me dates from that moment. Over the years I saw him pull this same trick
on other people and even on her, and I recognized the sly grin that the two
exchanged when the playful confrontation came to an end.
The book, Paradise Preserved, was published by the University of North
Carolina Press in 1965. While I do not know for a fact, I suspect that it was
subsidized by Mrs. Morrison. The title, incidentally, comes from two sources:
Richard Hakluyt's 1589 description of the area around Roanoke Island as "this
paradise of the worlde" and from the Roanoke Island Historical Association's
efforts to preserve it. Those of us privileged to know Emma Neal Morrison
are grateful for the very significant role she has played in preserving this paradise
of the world.
I suspect that this book, initiated by Emma Neal Morrison, was Dr. Fred's
introduction to the work of the UNC Press, and that a significant result of
it was the endowment of the Fred W. Morrison Series in Southern Studies.
/ think that thanks go to Emma Neal for her important initiation of and her
behind-the-scenes role in this endowment.
The Emma Neal Morrison I Know
Ida Howell Friday
I am grateful for this privilege of speaking about Emma Neal Morrison.
I join Doug Hunt and Bill Powell in greeting all of her family and especially
Myra and the three granddaughters and friends who are gathered to celebrate her.
This is a great evening! I cannot remember when I didn't know Emma
Neal and I have shared her friendship for many interesting and wonderful years.
She and her dear Fred, whom we all remember so fondly and with such
abiding love, befriended us long before Bill first took office. What happy memories
are brought to mind this joyful evening for all of us.
Emma Neal is living a full, fascinating, and useful life and I want to tell
you some of the things she has done and continues to do with such dedication
as to merit fully the North Caroliniana Society Award for 1989.
When she left her beloved Scotland County and Flora MacDonald College
to go to Raleigh to begin her career, fruitful indeed was that decision. Early
on in her professional life, she became secretary to Governor O. Max Gardner
and during those years she served as a senior staff officer to the Commission
on University Consolidation.
When Governor Gardner moved to the nation's capital to begin the practice
of law, so did Emma Neal, serving there as his administrative assistant.
Soon thereafter in 1938 that third Carolinian in the governor's law office,
who was from Cabarrus County, Fred Morrison, asked for her hand, and Emma
Neal entered the wonderful world of wife and mother and, later, of civic, philan-
thropic, and political leadership there and in her home state.
As daughter Myra grew, Emma Neal did those things that mothers do
to give their children involvement, understanding, and love. She was a director
of the Girl Scouts, the YWCA, and other youth affiliated programs.
Being so much a part of Governor Gardner's organization led her quite
naturally into political activism, all of which Douglass has already described.
Just listen: president of the Women's National Democratic Club, co-chairman
of the Harry S. Truman Library Committee and trustee of that Library since
1953; co-chairman of the Stevenson-Kefauver Dinner Committee; president of
the North Carolina Society in Washington; and chairman of the Invitation Com-
mittee for President Kennedy's Inaugural Ball.
Fred and Emma Neal had an abiding love for the Outer Banks of our state.
They moved to Kill Devil Hills for the summer and there began in 1940 a lifelong
and highly important association with Paul Green's The Lost Colony and the
Roanoke Island Historical Association.
Governor Dan Moore proclaimed Fred and Emma Neal Morrison Day in
1966. In 1983 Governor James Hunt issued a statewide proclamation declaring
Emma Neal Morrison Day in her honor on the occasion of her retirement as
producer of the drama. He pointed to her twenty years of service in that role
and to her more than three decades of working with the Association, serving
as chairperson for more than a decade.
Morrison Grove and the permanent housing facilities for the cast exist because
of their philanthropy. Today she continues to serve on the board of the Associa-
tion and is involved in all important undertakings.
These things she did because of her appreciation of the theatre, of the great
historical significance of the Outer Banks and her love for the natural beauty
of the land of our state as expressed in the Elizabethan Gardens she loves so much.
This sense of history also led to her role with officers of the state in establish-
ing a splendid visitor's center by the National Park Service at Fort Pvaleigh.
For this and other activities she received the Distinguished Service Award of
the National Park Service.
Her personal involvement in the restoration of Historic Bath and other
similar projects resulted in the presentation to her of the coveted Cannon Cup
for Historic Preservation in 1965.
Emma Neal early on took her place in the role women play in our society
and in The Lost Colony. As another has written about her, just think of her
connections. Queen Elizabeth authorized the founding of the colony; Eleanor
Dare held it together as Paul Green's great drama teaches us; Virginia Dare's
arrival gave it a permanent place in history; and Emma Neal has given it continuity
as great theatre and as splendid teaching of an immortal effort to establish freedom
in a new land!
For all those years with Fred, and today, Emma Neal has had an uncommon
love and dedication to the University. Fred loved football. He initiated the practice
of reserving the corner suite of the Carolina Inn five years in advance for all
football games. (You should know that one of his early successes in life was
coaching a championship football team for Chapel Hill High School, so his
love for the sport was real.)
Together they established scholarship funds in several institutions in the
state. They created the Morrison Fund for the University Press to underwrite
significant books on southern leaders and southern culture. And Emma Neal
was very much a part of the experience of bringing the James M. Johnston Scholars
program to the University at Chapel Hill. Many are the hours of her involvement
and encouragement to her husband in bringing the Ackland Art Museum to
For these splendid gifts of her resources and of herself, the University at
Chapel Hill expressed its gratitude by conferring upon her in 1985 the honorary
degree of Doctor of Laws.
Emma Neal was and remains the gracious hostess entertaining former first
ladies of the state and of our nation, cabinet officers of our own country and
of the United Kingdom, theatre personalities such as Helen Hayes, and governors,
members of Congress, members of the General Assembly, potential donors, and
leaders from far and near. She has counted presidents, vice-presidents, chief justices,
senators, and congressmen and their wives as friends and companions.
This is why the North Caroliniana Society Award is appropriately given
to Emma Neal Morrison not only because of the many useful and important
things she has done in her years of splendid service but also because of the quality
of her life and the integrity, character, humility, and love her every deed manifests.
Especially do I wish to point to the loving care she has always shown her family.
Whether she is dealing with people who are great or small, learned or
not so schooled, rich or poor, articulate or not so capable of expression, her
relationship is the same in its humanity and in its affection. She would work
all hours of the day or night to help a struggling theatre performer or a frustrated
organization trying to find its place in the public arena.
Emma Neal understands that we are all different personalities and individual-
ists. She also understands another great truth, and that is that most of us want
to be useful, to be decent, to be honorable and charitable, and to live in such
a manner as to improve the lot of those about us.
Over all of our many years of shared friendship, time and again, I have
seen and often personally experienced her goodness and grace. From her early
years in Scotland County, she has been a person of spirit who, by example,
has inspired us all.
Friendship for Emma Neal is defined the old-timey way. To her, it is a
commitment of trust, goodwill, and a willingness always to help. To her, it
means to bring out the best in people and give them the greatest joy and happiness.
Who else would be out on that bitter cold January morning in 1961 just
to give Bill and me the memorable experience of John Kennedy's inauguration?
Who else would spend a good part of a morning searching for an ailing and
less fortunate friend just to put football tickets in his hand? Who else would
over and over again make the long and tiresome journey from Washington to
Kill Devil Hills to bring words of encouragement and hope during those difficult
days in the history of The Lost Colony?
So you will understand why this evening is so important to all of us. It
is essential that, from time to time, we pause and say "thanks and well-done"
to the quiet, courageous, and sharing friend and neighbor. So it is this evening.
With so many stressful and destructive forces working in almost every manifesta-
tion of society, it is reassuring to see the qualities of commitment, service, fairness,
and faith publicly and joyfully reaffirmed. No more splendid choice for this
year's award could have been made.
With a special thanks to H. G. Jones and Archie Davis, our leaders, for
this evening together, for all of us here assembled, I say to you, Emma Neal,
we love you, our spirits are high, our hearts joyful and our lives made better
because the North Caroliniana Society Award for 1989 goes to you.
Presentation of the Award
Archie K. Davis
Honored guests, members and friends of the Society: In honoring Emma
Neal McQueen Morrison we do so in the certain knowledge that, try as we
might, it will be almost impossible to capture in words the spiritual motivation
and driving determination that have characterized the life and works of this
remarkable lady, who was so ably encouraged and supported by her distinguished
husband, the late Fred W. Morrison.
Although a winter resident of our nation's capital for over fifty years, her
heart and hand have never been far removed from the land of her nativity. Always
alert to the needs and aspirations of her beloved state, Emma Neal Morrison
has never failed to heed a call from North Carolina. As has already been observed,
the record of her achievements here in our great state has been monumental,
not to mention the magnanimity of her response to countless political and human-
itarian appeals for leadership at the national level.
She has been honored far and wide— always for meritorious service, seemingly
motivated by a profound sense of duty to place, people, and history. Perhaps
one of the most meaningful of many honors was the North Carolina Distinguished
Service Award for Women presented to her by Epsilon Beta of the Chi Omega
Fraternity in 1976, in praise of Emma Neal Morrison as an outstanding humani-
tarian, civic leader, and conservationist.
Her many achievements, both state and national, were characterized as
"unique," and she was singularly recognized for her leadership role in preserving
North Carolina history as producer of The Lost Colony, as chairman of the
Roanoke Island Historical Association, and as vice-chairman of the Historic Bath
Granted that she has resided in Washington since 1933, and has long been
an honorary citizen and summer resident of Dare County, I must remind this
distinguished audience that Emma Neal McQueen Morrison is first and foremost
a native of Scotland County. Although one of the smallest counties in North
Carolina, since its secession from Richmond County in 1899 it is manifestly
one of the truly great Scottish strongholds in America, and certainly the "citadel
of North Carolina Scots."
Measuring only twenty-eight miles in length and roughly twenty miles
in width, its 318 square miles embrace a land and people noted for their industry,
productivity, and thrift, not to mention their abiding support for education
and protection of the environment. The people and their land are seemingly
inseparable. Many distinguished families are there to prove it, and the name
of our honored guest will long be remembered as one of North Carolina's truly
great ladies. She grew up in Laurinburg as a McQueen. We honor her tonight
as truly the Queen of Scotland.
Emma Neal, on behalf of the Society, it is my high privilege to present
to you the 1989 North Caroliniana Society Award, which reads as follows:
The North Caroliniana Society,
in recognition of her public service and
of her contributions to the cultural life
of her fellow North Carolinians,
North Caroliniana Society Award
EMMA NEAL McQUEEN MOQQISON
Archie K. Davis
fl. 0. Jones
Acceptance of the Award
Emma Neal McQueen Morrison
Thank you, Mr. Davis, for this high honor; and thank you, my dear friends
H. G. Jones, Douglass Hunt, Bill Powell, and Bill and Ida Friday.
It takes many people to bring about any accomplishments a person is given
credit for. I am grateful to the many different officers and board members I
served with, the state of North Carolina, the University of North Carolina,
the National Park Service, the people of Dare County, the cast and crew of
The Lost Colony, and the thousands who came to see the drama. Most of all,
I am thankful for Fred Morrison's interest and help in everything I undertook.
Since the 1880s dedicated people have worked and sacrificed to preserve
Fort Raleigh and keep alive the spiritual birthplace of America.
One of the early pioneers was Mabel Evans Jones, a native of Roanoke
Island, who wrote, produced and starred in a 1921 silent film version of The
Lost Colony. Years later Paul Green wrote a full length play based on the colonists'
fate. It was first performed under the stars in Waterside Theatre July 4, 1937.
In its first year President Franklin D. Roosevelt attended the performance of
Virginia Dare's 350th birthday.
Like Fred and me, many of our friends were North Carolinians living and
working in Washington. We spent our summers on the Outer Banks with our
daughter, Myra, and kept close ties with the University.
I fell in love with The Lost Colony more than forty years ago when Kay
Kyser of radio fame and his family were our next door neighbors on the Outer
Banks. Kay helped promote the drama by featuring celebrity nights during which
a prominent person would play one of the roles. I helped by inviting cabinet
members as guests.
One week after the 1960 season closed, Hurricane Donna swept over
Roanoke Island and destroyed backstage. Discussions with the National Park
Service about the expansion of Fort Raleigh had already begun. Part of that
plan was for the Park Service to rebuild Waterside Theatre and to construct
a Lost Colony Building for rehearsals and a workshop.
The new theatre was ready for the summer-long commemorative events
planned by the Governor's Committee for the 375th Anniversary of the Birth
of Virginia Dare in 1962, with President William Friday as chairman.
When Joe Layton became director of the drama in 1964, we launched a
five year plan to revitalize the performance and improve lighting, costumes, and
scenery. The annual statewide membership campaign made this possible.
Because of lack of resources and space in our small Manteo office, our records
were not in good shape. They were given to the Department of Archives and
History, and Bill Powell began research. In 1965 his valuable Paradise Preserved
The expansion of Fort Raleigh was completed the summer of 1966 with
the dedication of the visitor center, in which the Association has a gift and
We soon found the Lost Colony Building was not adequate for dance rehear-
sals, so funds were raised to build an Educational Workshop Building. This
is used for rehearsals of the drama in bad weather, and for a training program
in drama, dance, and music. The Lost Colony Building is now used for music
rehearsals and administrative offices.
Over the years our Professional Theatre Workshop has grown in size and
scope. Workshop classes were initiated to bridge the gap between community
and college theatre, from which most of the cast comes, and the professional
theatre, to which most of them are going. The classes are conducted by visiting
professionals from all areas of stage, screen, and television, and by our own pro-
fessional staff. Three theatre hours of undergraduate and graduate credit is offered
to eligible students through the Extension Division of the University.
For years the Association has been working toward constructing a Center
for the Arts to provide for the on-going programs with all facilities necessary
for professional quality productions, including rehearsal halls and administrative
offices. This would give the well-established children's play, often written and
scored by the actors, a much needed place to rehearse and perform.
There is something special about The Lost Colony. Part of it is Paul Green's
use of words, music and drama which so compellingly recreate the humor, hard-
ships, and mystery of the first English settlement expedition. The ever-changing,
ever-constant, uniqueness of Roanoke Island and the Outer Banks is part of
it. The most compelling part of all, however, is that the drama is about something
that actually happened. Here the first English colonists to the New World came
ashore and began their life. The colony lasted less than three years, not long
and not permanent, but that does not diminish its importance. The great courage
and dedication that motivated these first North Carolinians is indeed an inspira-
tion. The Lost Colony has become a part of the history of our nation as well
as a commemoration of it.
As I look back over the last forty years, the recollection of people I worked
with and events flood my mind. I am grateful to all of them, and to the many
dedicated people who kept, and continue to keep, alive the colonists' dream
The North Caroliniana Society, Inc.
North Carolina Collection
Wilson Library, UNC Campus Box 3930
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-3930
Chartered by the Secretary of State on 11 September 1975 as a private nonprofit corporation under
provisions of Chapter 55A of the General Statutes oj North Carolina, the North Caroliniana Society is
dedicated to the promotion of increased knowledge and appreciation of North Carolina's heritage. This
it accomplishes in a variety of ways: encouragement of scholarly research and writing in and the teaching
of state and local history; publication of documentary materials, including the numbered, limited-edition
North Caroliniana Society Imprints and North Caroliniana Society Keepsakes; sponsorship of professional
and lay conferences, seminars, lectures, and exhibitions; commemoration of historic events, including
sponsorship of markers and plaques; and assistance to the North Carolina Collection and North Caro-
liniana Gallery of the University of North Carolina Library and other cultural organizations, such as
the Friends of the Library, the Friends of the Archives, the North Carolina Literary and Historical Asso-
ciation, the Historic Preservation Foundation of North Carolina, and the North Carolina Writers Conference.
Incorporated by H. G. Jones, William S. Powell, and Louis M. Connor, Jr., who soon were joined by
a distinguished group of North Carolinians, the Society was limited to one hundred members for its
first decade. However, it does elect from time to time additional individuals meeting its strict criterion
of "adjudged performance" in service to their state's culture — i.e., those who have demonstrated a con-
tinuing interest in and support of the historical, literary, and cultural heritage of North Carolina. The
Society, a tax-exempt organization under provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code,
expects service rather than dues. For its programs, it depends upon the contributions, bequests, and devises
of its members and friends. Its IRS number is 56-1119848. Upon request, contributions to the Society
may be counted toward membership in the Chancellor's Club. The Society administers the Archie K.
Davis Fund, given in 1987 by the Research Triangle Foundation in honor of its retiring board chairman
and the Society's longtime president.
A highlight of the Society's year is the presentation of the North Caroliniana Society Award for
long and distinguished service in the encouragement, production, enhancement, promotion and
preservation of North Caroliniana. Starting with Paul Green, the Society has recognized Tar Heels such
as Albert Coates, Sam J. Ervin, Jr., Sam Ragan, Gertrude S. Carraway, John Fries Blair, William and
Ida Friday, William S. Powell, Mary and James Semans, and David Stick. The proceedings of the awards
banquets, published in the Imprints series, furnish rare glimpses into the lives of those recognized.
The Society has its headquarters in the North Carolina Collection, the "Conscience of North Carolina,"
which seeks to preserve for present and future generations all that has been or is published by North
Carolinians regardless of subject and about North Carolina and North Carolinians regardless of author
or source. In this mission the Collection's clientele is far broader than the University community; indeed,
it is the entire citizenry of North Carolina, as well as those outside the state whose research extends
to North Carolina or North Carolinians. Members of the North Caroliniana Society share a very special
relationship to this unique Collection that dates back to 1844 and stands unchallenged as the largest
and most comprehensive repository in America of published materials about a single state. The North
Caroliniana Gallery, opened in 1988, adds exhibition and interpretive dimensions to the Collection's
traditional services. These combined resources fulfill the vision of President David L. Swain (1801-1868),
who founded the Collection; Librarian Louis Round Wilson (1876-1979), who nurtured it; and Philanthro-
pist John Sprunt Hill (1869-1961), who generously endowed it. All North Carolinians are enriched by
this precious legacy.
Board of Directors (1987)
Archie K. Davis, President
William S. Powell, Vice-President
H. G. Jones, Secretary and Treasurer
William McWhorter Cochrane Nancy Cobb Lilly
William C. Friday George Elliot London
Frank Borden Hanes Edward L. Rankin, Jr.
Betty Hodges John L. Sanders
Frank H. Kenan William D. Snider
Henry W. Lewis Willis P. Whichard
BINDERY INC. |§|
^ APR 90